Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question ” I have been injured on another person’s property. What should I do now?”
The owner of a Carmel Valley, California property has settled a lawsuit out of court with the 2007 winner of the local “Mother of the Year” award.
The now 53-year-old award winner—Kathy Rowe—had her eye on the Carmel Valley property but was outbid by a woman and her husband.
Rowe said she became enraged when the home she wanted was sold to the couple. She decided to make life a living hell for the new owners.
Rowe sent some $1,000 worth of magazines and books to the Carmel Valley home, advertised a high school New Year’s Eve party listing the home’s address, and also advertised a free Mexican fireworks giveaway on the Fourth of July.
Rowe asked members of religious groups to visit the home, and even sent out Valentine’s Day cards to other women in the Carmel Valley neighborhood under the male homeowner’s moniker.
When this “prankish” behavior failed to summon hellfire upon the homeowners, Rowe decided to step up her game. She went online and created a sexually-explicit advertisement titled “Carmel Valley Freak Show.”
In the advertisement, Rowe posted a photograph of the owner of the Carmel Valley home and said she wanted men to pretend to break into her home and rape her. In crude terms, Rowe—posing as the homeowner—described the kinds of acts in which she desired to engage with male visitors.
Two men responded to the advertisement, and Rowe gave them the couple’s address, telling them to “Just stop by any time Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.” These were the hours during which Rowe had determined the woman’s husband would be away at work.
Rowe told one man that she loved to be surprised and would like to have “a man just show up at the door and force his way in the door and on me, totally taking me while I say no.”
One man showed up at the Carmel Valley home; that’s when Rowe’s “pranks” were uncovered.
Rowe eventually admitted to being behind the pranks, saying she felt deep regrets for waging her proxy war. She said losing out on buying the Carmel Valley property was “devastating” to her family and broke their hearts. Rowe said her daughter was disabled and her husband suffered a heart attack, and the one-story house with a pool and yard in Carmel Valley “was perfect.” She even wrote to the homeowners offering to pay them $100,000 above the $779,000 they paid for the property, but did not receive a response.
Prosecutors charged Rowe with soliciting forcible rape and forcible sodomy. A Superior Court judge dismissed those charges, saying he did not believe Rowe “had the specific intent to cause the two men [who responded to the “Carmel Valley Freak Show” advertisement] to commit any kind of sexual assault[.]”
Prosecutors appealed, and the Fourth District Court of Appeal reversed, finding that Rowe’s actions created “a reasonable inference that [she] intended the men” to make contact with the Carmel Valley homeowner against her will.
Rowe ultimately pled guilty to stalking charges, and prosecutors dropped the felony solicitation charges.
The Carmel Valley homeowners sued Rowe in 2012, settling their civil complaint for an undisclosed amount in 2013.
If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of someone’s negligent or intentional conduct, please do not hesitate to contact me to set up an appointment today. If you or someone you know has any questions regarding potential personal injury claims, feel free to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC in Charlotte, North Carolina for a free consultation. Call toll free at (955) 370-2828 or click here for additional resources.
About the Author
Matthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.
Mr. Arnold was raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.
In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.
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